Nurses' knowledge of and attitudes towards sexuality and the relationship of these with nursing practice


  • Sarah Lewis RGN BSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Post-graduate Student (MSc counselling), City University, London, England
      Sarah Lewis, 36 Bipley Gardens, London SW14 8H, England
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  • Robert Bor DPhil CPsychol AFBPsS

    1. Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology, Psychology Department, City University, London, England
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Sarah Lewis, 36 Bipley Gardens, London SW14 8H, England


Issues concerning sex and sexuality are relevant to nursing practice The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between knowledge of and attitude towards sexuality, and nursing practice Nursing practice in this case was defined as the discussion of sexuality with the patient, with particular reference to taking a sexual history on admission to the ward A multi-choice questionnaire with sections establishing demographic details and nursing practice, and including the Sex, Knowledge and Attitude Test (SKAT), was administered to 357 registered general nurses (RGNs) Results show a relationship between knowledge and attitude but no relationship between either of these and the nursing practice scale However, a slight but significant correlation between receiving teaching about sexual history taking and questioning patients about sexuality on admission suggests that nursing practice and knowledge are weakly related There is evidence that factors other than those within the scope of this study influence all three independent variables, and these are discussed The implications of the study suggest the need for an improvement in nurse education regarding sexuality at all stages of training